Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Oh Muse, Where Art Thou?


I have never thought of my adult self as clever or very creative.  Ever since I had children, it seems my creative juices shriveled up and I turned into Cruella De Vil (remember 101 Dalmations?)

Webster states that creativity can be defined by producing something that is original. Heck, if that’s the case, take a look at my kids.  They’re pretty original.  So that makes me creative.  Or maybe just pathetic?  You be the judge.  Or on second thought, don’t judge me.  My kids have that covered.

Any who, December’s U.S. News magazine's cover story is “50 Ways to Improve Your Life in 2011”.  Lots of good suggestions but I especially liked Item No. 31: “Unleash Our Creative Genius, That inner muse may just need encouragement and a little practice”. I especially liked this excerpt:

Novelist and playwright Julia Cameron, who has taught creativity classes for 25 years using her workbook The Artist’s Way, believes there are three steps to unleashing your personal muse.  First, write three longhand pages about anything that comes to mind at the start of each day  “Morning pages,” as she calls them, “are like a mental Dustbuster, sucking up the negativity that might inhibit your creativity later.  And because there’s no wrong way to do them, you’re training your critic to stand aside.” Second, take your creative spirit on a weekly “artist date” to any place you find fun and interesting, be it’s a museum or a horse show or a plant nursery.  Third, integrate the insights that result from these two actions by walking alone outside for 30 minutes at least twice a week.”

I don’t know about you, but my personal muse has been locked up in a dark dungeon for so long, she’s become quite comfortable in that room.  But Cameron’s ideas are interesting.  The 30 minute walk?  I’ve got that covered easily.  But three longhand pages … that’s going to take some work.  I’m definitely not a morning person let alone have three pages of thoughts before 10 a.m.  Maybe I can tease my muse out with a little Mojito.  Hey! It was good enough for Hemingway in Cuba when he said "An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools."  Or in my case, with her muse!  Another Mojito, please.

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